Over the years, unfortunately, I have come into contact with many people who bear the scars of bullying. Bullying can happen at any age and can affect people emotionally in many different ways, even later in life. Bullying can be physical or emotional and can happen anywhere – at home, at school, at work, or online.
Many people who have been affected by bullying suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth. Sometimes they may have problems trusting others including family members, partners or friends. Socialising and carrying out day-to-day activities may cause anxiety and fear, and life can be very tough indeed.
Overcoming the effect that bullying causes is not an easy task. However, it can be helped and eased with plenty of support and understanding.
Getting to know the bully
Bullies are very often unhappy, jealous or have low self-esteem. They lash out at others who they see as more vulnerable, as a way to compensate for their own negative emotions or personal situations.
One of the first steps in overcoming bullying is to realise that it’s not your fault that this person/these persons are acting this way towards you. There is no absolutely excuse for bullying behaviour, but it might sometimes help you to cope better if you understand why they may be acting in this way. It’s realising that this situation is not really about you, it’s about them and their deeper issues and insecurities.
Understanding your emotions
Whatever age or gender you are, it’s natural to experience a wide range of emotions as a result of bullying behaviour. There will be a knock-on effect on your mental health as you are having to deal with such stress and daily fear. Sometimes the knock-on effects might be instant, or sometimes they won’t reveal themselves until many years later.
You might feel sad, frightened or anxious. Or, you might feel angry, ashamed and resentful. Perhaps you feel depressed and want to withdraw from everyday life. Or perhaps, the emotions you are experiencing are causing you to lash out on others as a consequence.
It’s important to know that these emotions are not ones that you would ordinarily feel. They are reactions to what you are going through/ have been through because of another person’s actions.
Finding the strength to overcome negative emotions
Trying to find the strength to overcome bullying might feel like the hardest task possible. You may feel like you don’t have the energy to fight it, or you may feel scared to stand up to it.
However, with the right support, you can take small steps to understand, process and conquer many of the emotions and traumas that you have been holding inside.
Communication with others is a vital step. Take your time and try to speak to the people you love and trust about your experiences. You might be surprised that they may have suffered similar experiences themselves and may be able to offer helpful insight that could improve the way you feel or cope.
Telling someone about your bullying experience might feel scary or even embarrassing, but once you have taken that step to seek support, you may feel like a huge load has been taken from you, and that you are no longer suffering alone.
You might also want to consider counselling or talking therapy as a positive step in helping you overcome bullying. You may be able to access counselling through the company you are employed by, or if you are at school or university, you could speak to your student support or pastoral team. Your GP will also be able to support you and may be able to refer you for NHS Talking Therapy.
Hopefully, there will be a combination of support available to you that allows you to heal and leave those scars behind for good. And, once you have moved forward, and if you feel ready, you might then be in a very good place to help other people who may be going through similar situations themselves.
If you need support or advice about any issues around bullying, please do call me on 07787 831 275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org